@POTUS’ loose talk and gaffe over J&K draws sharp criticism - A Twitteri column
   24-Jul-2019
- Sukhwinder Singh
 
 
US President @potus @realdonaldtrump while meeting PM of Pakistan @imrankhanpti at his Oval Office in White House on 22nd July 2019 mentioned that @pmoindia @narendramodi met him weeks back at a summit & PM Modi requested him to meditate between India & Pakistan on resolving issues of Kashmir, to the much amusement of Pakistani PM. While Govt. Of India has always maintained that all issues between India & Pakistan are bilateral & to be resolved bilaterally without any 3rd party intervention. This statement put this issue on hot discussion in India/US/Pakistan & on @twitter too.
 
Within hours of this claim by @potus Ministry of External Affairs, India denied that this request was ever made via @meaindia “We have seen @POTUS's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President. It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.”
 
Indian Foreign Minister Dr S Jayashanker issued a statement on floor of @rajyasabha/@loksabha on 23rd July @drsjayashankar “India categorically denies any such request by @pmoindia to @potus regarding mediation on any issue with Pakistan & issue of ending cross border terrorism is most important before any bilateral talks.”
With Indian Govt strongly denying @POTUS claim, US Dept. Of State for South Asia came out with clarification citing Indian position regarding Indo-Pak issues being bilateral via @state_sca “While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes #Pakistan and #India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist. – AGW.”
 
India denies asking for mediation 
 
Despite @meaindia & Foreign Minister denying any such mediation request & subsequent clarification by US @state dept, Indian Politician/ @incindia President Rahul Gandhi tried to play dirty politics over this issue, @rahulgandhi “President Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate between India & Pakistan on Kashmir! If true, PM Modi has betrayed India’s interests & 1972 Shimla Agreement.A weak Foreign Ministry denial won’t do. PM must tell the nation what transpired in the meeting between him & @POTUS.” While even his @incindia colleague & senior leader Shashi Tharur refuted @potus claim regarding such mediation request while talking to ANI, @ani “S Tharoor, ex-MoS MEA: Trump doesn't know what he is saying. Maybe he didn't understand the issue or nobody briefed him. Impossible that Modi will ask anyone else because it's our clear policy that we don't want a 3rd party mediation. If we've to talk to Pak,we'll do that directly.”
 
Opposition parties led by @incindia in @rajyasabha & @loksabha disrupted the business of houses demanding a reply from @pmoindia in both houses despite deniel & clarifications by the concerned department.
General Secy of @bjp4india Ram Madhav too strongly condemned @potus statement , @rammadhavbjp “POTUS’ statement on Kashmir underscores the biggest problem in the US system today. With expert India and South Asia hands like Lisa Curtis in White House n State Dept if he makes such a statement then there is something fundamentally wrong.”
 
Govt. Of Pakistan welcomed the statement of @potus regarding mediation @pid_gov “Addressing a news conference in Washington today, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the meeting conveyed a commitment to promote peace in South Asia and US President Donald J. Trump has expressed his facilitation role in resolving the Kashmir issue.”
 
Pakistani puppet in India & separatist leader Sayyad Geelani thanked Pakistani PM for raising issue of Kashmir & parroted Pakistani dictation to him @sageelani “America has to play its role for the freedom of Kashmir. We are thankful to Pakistan for raising the issue of Kashmir.”
 
Mainstream Political Party @jknc_ leader & Ex CM of J&K Omar Abdullah too stated sarcastically about this @omarabdullah “Personally I think @realDonaldTrump is talking out of his hat when he says @PMOIndia asked for US involvement in solving the Kashmir issue but I’d like to see @MEAIndia call Trump out on his claim.”
There was a furore in the USA too about this issue.
 
POTUS Slammed by US Politicians and Columnists
 
With many Politicians/ Columnists/ Authors criticising @potus for his unwarranted comments involving a friendly country like India.
 
Chairman of the House Committee on Foriegn Affairs in US Congress Eliot L Angel called Ambassador of India to US Harsh Shringla & clarified US’s stand @houseforiegn “Chairman @RepEliotEngel today spoke with @HarshShringla. Engel reiterated his support for the longstanding U.S. position on the Kashmir dispute, saying he supported dialogue between India & Pakistan, but the dialogue’s pace & scope can only be determined by India & Pakistan.”
 
Republican members of the US Congress from California Brad Sherman met Indian Ambassador to US @harshshringla & even apologised for @potus remarks , @repbradsharman “Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that #India consistently opposes third-party mediation re #Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing. 1/2 I just apologized to Indian Ambassador @HarshShringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake.”
 
Edward Luce National Editor Financial Times & Author of The Retreat of Western Liberalism said @edwardgluce “Worth elaborating on the level of incompetence Trump showed today on Kashmir. Those unfamiliar with Indo-Pak situation may not realise that his offer to mediate on Kashmir dispute ranks among the most consequential mistakes he has made. But that's the least of it.”
 
This tweet of Edward was retweeted by Maggie Habberman @nytimes correspondent @whitehouse @maggienyt too. Lawrence Sellin , Ex US Army Officer, Afghan Veteran & Author tweeted @lawrencesellin “I don't see the U.S. mediating between Pakistan & India. 1. Pres. Trump already has a lot on his plate. 2. the U.S. has not had any historical involvement in the Kashmir. Maybe Imran Khan thinks U.S. involvement might put pressure on India - probably wrong.”
 
Michael Kugelman Deputy Director @wilsoncentre & Political Analyst on South Asia tweeted on U-Turn taken by US State Dept. After denial by India, @michealkugelman “Well, that didn’t take long. The US Govt has just walked back Trump’s Kashmir mediation offer.”
 
Another fierce @potus critic & seasoned Political/ Military Scholar on South Asia Prof C Christine Fair commented @cchristinefair “Historical overview: Criminal @POTUS is undermining America's relationship with India that Presidents Clinton, George W and Obama worked alongside Vajpayee, MMS and Modi to improve .”
Another South Asia Author in US Myra Macdonald tweeted, @myraemacdonald “Trump pretty much scotched any chance of getting back-channel talks up and running again on Kashmir with this silly comment. Pakistan Army will be happy; India will take a harder line. Another loss for diplomacy & for Jammu and Kashmir.” Heating up the momentum California based centre on Political Affairs tried to alert Indian masses by saying, @motrpolitics “India, President Trump is lying.” Hope Indian opposition mainly @incindia has noticed this.
 
The US media too commented on this issue, as Washington Post opinion by Indian journalist @bdutt @postopinions “From @BDutt: Trump’s ignorance was on full display in his meeting with Imran Khan.
Indian media too tweeted, discussed a lot on this & generally articulated Govt. Of India’s stand on this, Times Now tweeted @timesnow “US President @realDonaldTrump spews lies about @narendramodi; India exposes #TrumpKaJhoot. But opposition unconvinced. Guns for Modi, seeks answers. Pak & sympathisers celebrate. Opposition falls for Pakistan plot?”
 
Congress yet again shames India 
 
Opposition parties India mainly @incindia will leave no opportunity to defame/ abuse @bjpindia led Govt. & hence are trying to fish in troubled waters on this issue of National importance too.
 
This gaffe by @potus intentional/ unintentional shouldn’t be given more attention as @realdonaldtrump is not new to controversies due to his haywire statements & even faces criticism in his country US too. But this nonsensical statement has hurt over billion Indians & have caused irreparable damage, Indian Diplomats will have to burn extra oil to ascertain real US intentions regarding India despite all goodwill efforts of @pmoindia @narendramodi led Govt. To strengthen strategic ties with US to work jointly on multiple fronts , the most important being to “Contain & Defeat Terrorism.”